Three astronauts dock at ISS within three hours of launch

For the first time, they tried a two-orbit approach and docked with the space station in just a little over three hours after lift-off.

Soyuz is scheduled to take off from the Baikonur Cosmo Drom in Kazakhstan at 1:45 AM on Wednesday.

It has become the first spacecraft in the world that made only two orbits around the Earth. Kate Rubins, the NASA astronaut, as well as Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov, the cosmonauts coming from the Russian space agency known as Roscosmos recently joined the Expedition63 Commander known as Chris Cassidy of NASA as well as Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, the cosmonauts, aboard the ISS.

Astronaut Kate Rubins was assigned a six-month mission as a flight engineer on ISS and a member of the Expedition 63/64 crew.

Rubins was added to the crew in May when NASA announced it was purchasing a final Soyuz seat from Roscosmos for $90.25 million. The rise of private players SpaceX and Boeing - part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program - has fuelled discuss another "space race" between various nations.

NASA officials had stated for months leading up to that May announcement that it was in talks with Russian Federation not just for that seat, but potentially a second seat for a mission launching in the spring of 2021.

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On May 30, 2020, the United States has successfully launched their "Launch America" project after nine long years, aiming to launch American astronauts to space without relying on the Russian space agency using their Soyuz rockets.

A recent video was uploaded to Twitter by the International Space Station welcoming the new astronauts that just arrived at the space station.

Since ending the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA has depended on Russian Federation to transport astronauts to the ISS. Boeing First crew test flight It is now scheduled for next year. That would allow the vehicle to begin routine astronaut transport missions by the end of 2021. However, NASA has not yet announced such a deal, so it is unclear when the next American astronauts will fly aboard the Soyuz after performing this mission.

The mission of the Soyuz space craft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut was of vast importance to Russia's space agency Roscosmos, coming as the SpaceX programme relaunches manned spaceflight from the United States and ignites fresh talk of a space race between the two countries. He is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, with more than 7,800 flight hours and 663 carrier landings in tactical jet aircraft.

No Russian cosmonauts have been assigned to any commercial missions to date. The trio is heading for the base about a month before SpaceX's next crew dragon launch, which will carry another four astronauts on the ISS in mid-November.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a September 29 briefing about the upcoming Crew-1 mission that he was still pursuing mixed crews. "We still believe that it's critically important", he said.

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